• The Christmas Tree Predates Christmas Itself

    by Troy Bickham

    The modern Christmas tree, adorned with lights, has come full-circle with its roots in pagan veneration of evergreen trees at the winter solstice. 

  • When Christmas Started to Creep

    by Bill Black

    The story of "Christmas Creep" is not a linear encroachment of Yuletide on the rest of the calendar, and hinged on political decisions made during the Great Depression and World War II. 

  • The Magnificent History of the Much-Maligned Fruitcake

    by Jeffrey Miller

    A quip attributed to former “Tonight Show” host Johnny Carson has it that “There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other.”

  • How did November become the Mizrahi Heritage Month? And what’s Mizrahi anyhow?

    by Lior Sternfeld and Arie M. Dubnov

    The Mizrahi heritage month is not a local, grassroots initiative that emerged in response to experiences of discrimination or marginalization. Instead, it is a transatlantic importation of recent attempts by the Israeli government to commemorate the forced expulsion of Jews from the Arab and Muslim world in the wake of the establishment of Israel.